Summary of address given by Doctor Linda Stalley at the seminar The
Christian response to the gay agenda, hosted by Cost of Conscience
and Reform on Tuesday, 16 September 1997.

As a Christian and a medical practitioner I am passionately concerned
with the truth and I do believe, as Jesus stated, that the truth sets
us free. The Christian Church has access to the Truth through Gods
Holy Spirit and is its custodian. It is important to establish scientific
and medical factual truth with regard to a subject such as homosexuality.
The message resulting from scriptural and moral teaching of the Church
is entirely consistent with the available medical evidence concerning
the homosexual lifestyle.

There are two main areas of information regarding homosexuality where
the claims of the pro-homosexual lobby must be challenged: firstly,
the claim that homosexuality is an innate or genetically determined
condition and, therefore, a variation of normal sexuality and secondly,
that it is a fixed condition which cannot be changed.

As a medical practitioner I observe that there is a clear and consistent
pattern of biological life in the whole of the created order. A fundamental
function of the plant and animal kingdom is that of procreation and
in the context of this there is complementarity of the male and female
of each species. Same-sex sexual relationships are not observed within
the plant and animal kingdom with the exception of human beings and
this type of relationship is actually life denying.

Some would suggest that, as we live in an imperfect world, there are
variations of male and female sexual expression and thus propose that
homosexuality is innate. There is no scientific evidence to suggest
that homosexuality is due to organic or genetic factors.

In March 1993, two psychiatrists of Columbia University reviewed studies
purporting to find a biological component to homosexuality. They concluded
There is no evidence at present to substantiate a biologic theory
(Byne & Parsons. Human Sexual Orientation: The biological theories
reappraised; Archives of General Psychiatry; Mar 93). Lawrence Hatterer,
the American psychiatrist, states Homosexuals are not born but made
and genetic, hereditary, constitutional, glandular or hormonal factors
have no significance in causing homosexuality. Dr. Frank Lake, psychiatrist,
discovered considerable evidence of the significance of disorders
in infant years being directly related to the homosexual condition.
This conclusion is supported by many other specialists in psychiatry,
including Dr. Charles Socarides, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry
at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and Dr. John
Money of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

Some have stated that even if homosexuality is a matter of personal
preference, the individual should be free to pursue their chosen lifestyle.
It is important to continually assert that the truth matters. From
a medical point of view this is important because there are clearly
significant implications for individual and public health resulting
from a homosexual lifestyle. The medical profession has a corporate
responsibility to advise the public on the risks of certain lifestyles,
whether this relates to smoking or alcohol consumption or the risks
associated with certain sexual practices.

There is significant misrepresentation of facts in the statistics
quoted by the pro-homosexual lobby regarding the prevalence of homosexuality.
They generally state that 10% of the population is homosexual. The
truth is, according to studies carried out in the USA and the UK that
a consistent figure of less than 1.5% of the adult population has
been found to be actively homosexual. One of most detailed UK studies
showed only 0.4% of the male population to be exclusively homosexual
(Welling K., Field J. et al, Sexual Behaviour in Britain; The National
Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles; Penguin 1994.). Another
survey in the UK sponsored by the Welcome Trust reported 1.4% of males
having had a homosexual partner in the previous year. The report stated
its findings were consistent with those from other recent studies
in Europe and the United States. Similarly, a British survey in 1990
to 1991 (among 19,000 men) found that 1.1% had had homosexual partners
in the previous year. (Johnson A.M. et al., Sexual Lifestyles and
HIV risk; Nature; 360, Dec. 3, 1992)

The health risks associated with the homosexual lifestyle must be
seen in the light of lifestyle characteristics and common homosexual
practices. By way of introduction to this it is helpful to understand
a little of the anatomy relating to the rectum and anus in contrast
with that of the vagina. The female vagina is designed to receive
an erect penis during sexual intercourse and also to be the passageway
through which a child is born. As such, the lining of the vagina (mucosa)
is several cells thick, providing appropriate protection, and also
secretes chemicals which afford further protection against organisms
such as bacteria. The anus is a tight muscle which is designed to
close tightly in order to prevent the leakage of rectal contents but
which can also relax in order to void these contents appropriately.
The lining of the rectum is only one cell thick, unlike that of the
vagina. During the act of anal intercourse extremely high pressures
are needed to insert the erect penis through the anal sphincter into
the rectum. This inevitably causes trauma to the anal muscle, the
rectal mucosa and to the penis. It is for this reason that relaxant
drugs are frequently used by homosexuals. In addition to this the
chemicals contained within semen actually digest the thin rectal mucosa
making it porous and thus permeable to bacteria present within faeces.
Anal intercourse, therefore, is neither a natural nor healthy sexual
activity. This true for both male and female partners.

From this point the issues discussed relate to male homosexual activity.
The vast majority of male homosexual relationships are temporary.
Long term, stable, and single-partner homosexual partnerships are
in the minority. One of the characteristics of the emergence of the
gay culture has been the open promotion and encouragement of a high
level of promiscuity which is a feature of male homosexuality. Some
studies cite men having up to 25 sexual partners per day. In an American
study in 1978, 74% of male homosexuals reported having more than 100
partners during their lifetime, 65% reported having sex only once
with more than half their partners, 28% reported having more than
1,000 partners. (Bell and Weinberg, Homosexualities; a study of diversity
among men and women, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978). An earlier
study found that 7% of male homosexuals had a relationship lasting
longer than 10 years and 38% had never been in a relationship lasting
longer then one year (Saghir and Robins, Male and female Homosexuality:
a comprehensive investigation - Baltimore: William Wilkins, 1973).
In Denmark, a form of homosexual marriage has been legalised since
1989. By 1995, less than 5% of Danish homosexuals had married and
28% of these marriages had already ended in divorce or death. (Wockner;
Advocate; 726, Feb. 4th 1997). In Holland, 69% of male homosexuals
live together in a marriage-type relationship. The average number
of outside partners per year of marriage was 7.1 and increased from
2.5 in the first year of the relationship to 11 in the sixth year.
(Deenan et al., Archives Sexual Behaviour; 1994, 23).

It is important to have knowledge of male homosexual practices in
order to understand the enormous risk of infection and other diseases
which are incurred. There are three main homosexual activities which
the majority of homosexuals engage in: 95% of men engage in oral-genital
contact (mouth-penis), 85% engage in oral-rectal contact, known as
rimming (licking and insertion of the tongue into the anus) and 80%
engage in insertive anal intercourse. (Bell and Weinberg, Homosexuality;
1978). In addition to this, 35 % practice fisting (thrusting of the
fist into the partners rectum). Insertion of other foreign bodies,
such as tumblers, beer bottles, and even gerbils into the rectum is
widely practised. Semen is ingested in approximately half the cases
of oral-genital contact. (Corey and Holmes, Sexual transmission of
Hepatitis A in homosexual men; New England Journal of Medicine; 1980).
In the largest survey of homosexual behaviour undertaken, 23% of men
took part in golden showers (drinking, or being splashed with, urine
) (Jay and Young, The Gay Report, N Y: summit 1979). In addition to
this ingestion of faeces is not uncommon and a proportion of homosexual
men practise sadomasochism.

The medical consequences of the homosexual lifestyle can be divided
into categories. It is important to recognise that most health risks
arising from this type of lifestyle are rooted in the widespread promiscuity
and consequent propagation of disease as well as the type of activity
engaged in.

1. Homosexual lifestyle is strongly linked to premature death, life
expectancy being reduced by an average of 25 to 30 years. One study
found that less than 2% of homosexuals survived to old age i.e. 65
or older. Premature death is due to a variety of diseases including,
but not solely due to HIV/AIDS. Violent death has been found to be
strikingly high: compared to similar-aged white males, homosexuals
were 116 times more likely to be murdered and 24 times more likely
to commit suicide. (Cameron, Playfair and Wellum, The longevity of
homosexuals: Before and After the AIDS epidemic; Omega; 1994).

2. Traumatic disease is largely due to the act of anal intercourse
and also to the use of the fist or other instruments inserted into
the rectum. Douching agents also cause mucosal damage. This type of
trauma may actually cause serious damage, including perforation of
the rectum which necessitates at least temporary use of a colostomy.
About one in three men who regularly engage in anal intercourse suffer
from dysfunction of the anal sphincter, resulting in faecal incontinence
(Miles et al., Effects of ano-receptive intercourse on ano-rectal
function; Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine; 86 Mar. 1993).

3. Infection is very common in sexually active homosexual men, thus
making them a potential health risk to their sexual partners. In highly
promiscuous men, live bacteria and viruses are literally transmitted
from one rectum to the next. 75% of homosexual men currently carry
one or more significant pathogens. (Quinn, Clinical Approach to intestinal
infections in homosexual men; The Medical Clinics of N. America; 70,3,1986).
Condoms should not be seen to be reliable protection against viral
infections. This fact is openly admitted by the manufacturers, especially
when the condoms are used for anal intercourse. The use of condoms
is notoriously inconsistent, as evidenced by the high unplanned pregnancy
rate of those using this as the sole means of contraception.

The types of infection contracted include local infections of the
anus and rectum in the form of ulcers and abscesses. Similarly, local
infections of the penis may also occur, sometimes with rare organisms
such as amoebae.

Sexually transmitted diseases are particularly common among the homosexual
community. 75% of homosexual men admitted to having had such an infection
at some time. (Bell and Weinberg, Homosexuality; 1978: 336). Male
homosexuals are the main reservoir of syphilis infection in the United
Kingdom. Numerous other organisms are transmitted which cause significant
diseases and Infertility may be caused by transmitting these infections
to females in bisexual activity.

A new condition called gay bowel syndrome is now recognised in the
homosexual communities, characterised by abdominal bloating, cramps,
nausea and diarrhoea. It is caused by bowel infections, usually contracted
through oral-anal contact or oral-genital contact following anal intercourse.
The types of infection now being seen were previously extremely unusual.

Blood-borne infection is potentially the most serious type of infection
transmitted by homosexual activity. The two main infections are hepatitis
and HIV which themselves give rise to other systemic diseases. Hepatitis
B may be life-threatening in its acute phase and frequently causes
chronic liver cirrhosis. It is also associated with liver cancer.
In 1987 a study found that 40-75% of homosexual men had been exposed
to the hepatitis B virus. (MacPhail Alberta Report Oct. 14 1996).
HIV/AIDS is the major cause of premature death amongst homosexual
men. It is estimated that a 20 year old male homosexual faces a 30%
chance of being HIV positive or having AIDS by the time he is 30 years
old. HIV is predominantly transmitted by insertive anal intercourse.

Passive or receptive anal intercourse carries a 30 fold increased
risk of anal cancer compared to controls; it is thought that this
may be related to the strong link between ano-rectal cancer and the
wart virus (Voeller, Ano-rectal cancer and homosexuality; Journal
of American Medical Association; Maine 1983).

As well as the physical health risks there is significant psychological
morbidity associated with the homosexual lifestyle. In addition to
the high rate of suicide encountered in this group a medical survey
showed that 47% of male homosexuals had a history of alcohol abuse
compared to 24% of comparative males and 51% had a history of drug
abuse compared to 7% of comparative males. (Williams et al. Multi
Disciplinary Baseline Assessment: 127). 40% of male homosexuals had
a history of major depressive disorder compared to 3% of males generally.
(Rosenberger et al., Psycho Pathology in Human Immuno-deficiency Virus
infection: lifetime and current assessment; Comprehensive Psychiatry;
34, May/June 1993).

It is important to recognise that the health risks associated with
the homosexual lifestyle do not only affect individuals who choose
to engage in this kind of activity. This choice has an effect on public
health and upon the lives of children. Issues which are relevant to
discussion include the proposals to allow homosexual couples to foster
and adopt children. The question must be asked: should children be
placed into a relationship which is likely to be unfavourable and
temporary? For the same reasons there must be serious questions asked
about the legitimacy of artificial insemination by donor and surrogacy
as a means for homosexuals to have their own children. It should be
born in mind that between 20 and 40% of cases of paedophilia are committed
by homosexuals. Medical professionals, whilst not seeking to make
any moral judgments have a duty, to protect society from anything
which would threaten its health at large. A homosexual lifestyle should
not therefore be condoned or encouraged in an individual and certainly
not promoted as a normal or healthy lifestyle in the general population,
especially amongst children and adolescents during their vulnerable
years of sexual maturation and personal development.

The second lie which is propagated by the pro-homosexual lobby is
that homosexuality is a fixed condition which cannot be changed. Within
even Christian circles there has been anger at the suggestion that
there is need for healing.

It is widely acknowledged that human beings have the capacity to change
for good and this occurs aside from a Christian conversion experience
as well as being a result of it. It is well documented that people
who were formerly engaged in a homosexual lifestyle have changed and
taken up a stable heterosexual relationship.

The motivation for change within a individuals life is usually related
to the influence of individual relationships which affirm that which
is good within the individual. Human beings are searching for intimacy
but above this are searching for belonging and a discovery of their
identity. The danger of the lie promoted by the pro-homosexual lobby
is that someone who believes themselves to be homosexual finds a place
of belonging within the homosexual community even though they often
remain unhappy. It is noteworthy that in a SIGMA study in 1992, which
was funded by the Medical Research Council and the Department of Health,
34% of homosexual men freely expressed regret at being homosexual
and the authors purported that possibly more than this proportion
felt regret but did not express it.

Sexuality is part of the expression of an individuals identity. Our
identity does not change but our perception of our identity and the
way in which our identity is expressed does change, usually according
to the influence of key individuals and sometimes as a result of events.

It is not my intention to enter into detailed observation and/or explanation
on this subject but the simple truth is that the two relationships
which have most influence upon an individual are those with their
mother and father. A mothers influence is particularly important during
the first 5 years of a child's life, especially in the development
of personal security.

A father's influence is thought to be most important during early
teenage years, especially in affirming sexuality.

At different times of childhood development there is a variable male/female
emphasis expressed, sometimes more obviously than others. All of these
phases are simply stepping stones along the path to maturity. trauma,
of any variety, may interrupt this progression and thus result in
a halting of the maturation process.

Any difficulty in the area of sexuality is really an issue of immaturity
due to deficient or dominant male or female influences. Thus Dr. Elizabeth
Mobberly, psychologist and authority on homosexuality, defines homosexuality
as essentially a state of incomplete development or of unmet needs,
rooted in same-sex psychological deficits, arising from difficulties
in the parent-child relationship, especially in the earlier years
of life.

The unmet need is perhaps the reason for the multi-partnering seen
so often among homosexuals. One man, when trying to describe his homosexual
feelings, said that he longed to be held in a mans arms, but that
he was still searching for something - he had not known his father.

Arguably, the most traumatic event in the life of a child is inappropriate
sexual interference. These need not be physical sexual contact alone,
but may also be due to inappropriate verbal innuendo or visual abuse
such as pornography.

There is a move by a small but vocal minority (predominantly homosexual)
to abolish the age of consent, thus allowing adults to engage in sexual
activity with children and already inappropriate influences are being
presented in schools under the guise of sex education programmes.
This will inevitably cause major damage to the personal development
of our future generations.

There are many engaged in the Christian healing ministry who have
witnessed and experienced the true liberation which comes from the
discovery of ones true identity and place of belonging. Sadly, this
ministry is severely criticised by the homosexual community, perhaps
because it is seen to be judgmental.

As Christians, we must recognise that we all need healing and that
it is God alone who can do this. The message of Jesus does not permit
us to judge one another but does commission us to be ministers of
His healing grace. We are called to proclaim a Gospel of Truth, but
emphatically we are called to live the Gospel of love.

Recommended Reading

Schmidt, T; Straight and Narrow?, IVP, 1995.

Payne, L; The Broken Image, Kingsway, 1981.

Payne, L; Crisis in Masculinity, Kingsway, 1985.

Torrance, D; God, Family and Sexuality, Handsel, 1997.

Homosexuality - The Medical, Social and Religious Implications, statement
published by the Maranatha Community.